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PopUp Science is now virtual, and so is a fundraiser to keep the Homewood Science Center’s programs going.

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, representatives of HSC will be hosting #keeplearning A Homewood Science Center Fundraiser through the website. The site includes a list of the organizations and geographic areas the Homewood Science Center’s PopUp Science is reaching. 

The Homewood Science Center's virtual fundraiser is Aug. 2.
The Homewood Science Center’s virtual fundraiser is Aug. 2.

Edie Dobrez, HSC executive director, said she hopes supporters will continue to be as generous as they have been so that the science center can continue its many initiatives.

Supporters can make a direct donation to the fundraiser before the event. 

Or join the fun at the online event by making a donation or being part of the online auction.  

The donation tiers and gifts are: $25, HSC planet puzzle; $50, HSC Summer Fun Kit; $100, child or adult T-shirt; $250, half-zip pullover; $500, HSC prize pack with all promotional items; and $1,000, movie night for 10 at Homewood Science Center.

The HSC T-shirt will be inscribed with the message: “Be Like a Proton, Stay Positive.” 

The auction will also highlight special gifts, including a summer vacation outside Vail, Colorado; private yoga lessons; golf at Idlewild Country Club and a Brookfield Zoo package.

M.G. Bailey will give a free concert during the fundraiser and a video tour of the science center will be aired.

HSC organizers were hoping to offer the Cocktail Chemistry Challenge fundraiser that featured local restaurants and bars concocting drinks using specific ingredients. The 2019 event drew 250 people and raised $45,000 for HSC. 

But due to group size restrictions in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, the challenge won’t happen this summer, said Holly Kelsven, HSC program manager. 

“But we still know hands-on learning is crucial to children and helps create equity,” Kelsven noted. The idea behind the #keeplearning fundraiser is to build STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) literacy in the region.

While the science center is closed and field trips to HSC ended when schools closed in March, HSC’s been encouraging science learning through distribution of its PopUp Science kits.

“When schools closed their doors to protect public health, so did we,” Kelsven said. “In the past, we’ve done PopUp Science events the fourth Saturday of the month May through September, and while we can’t be together these days we created PopUp Science at Home.” 

The PopUp Science initiative is free and accessible through the HSC website. New materials will be distributed on July 25, Aug. 22 and Sept. 26.

“We’ve distributed more than 8,000 free PopUp Science kits since March,” both at HSC and a distribution network of sites where families in neighboring communities come for free lunch programs through their school districts, Kelsven explained. Instructions are in English and Spanish. Materials for the PopUp projects are things that can found around the house.

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